Unusual colored Louisville Glass Works antique bottles bring big bucks

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EAST GREENVILLE, Pa. .Top-tier flask collectors purchased several hot lots during Glass Works Auctions’ July 25, 2011 Internet and phone sale of nearly 400 early flasks, bottles and stoneware. Among the most sought-after items were three 1840-1850 flasks from the Louisville, Ky., glass works.

“Most of Louisville’s production was aquamarine in color,” said Jim Hagenbuch, owner of the East Greenville, Pa., auction house, “so when good colored items hit the market you can expect serious bidding.”

Lot 59, a marked “Louisville Glass Works” scroll flask in a brilliant olive-yellow color was the highlight of the sale. Estimated at $6,000 to 8,000, it hammering at $31,050. “We had four, all-star flask collectors slamming away at this one almost as soon as we opened up for bidding,” Hagenbuch said. “Extremely rare, we don’t recall another in this color.” All prices include the auction company’s 15 percent buyer’s premium.

 The second in the Louisville lineup was lot 17, a Double Eagle flask in a rare yellow-amber, estimated at $4,000 to 6,000. It sold for $9,200. “This particular flask can be found in a number of exciting colors, this being one of them, making it very desirable among the flask collectors’ community,” Hagenbuch said.

Number three on the Louisville hit parade was lot 19, another  “Louisville Glass Works” marked flask. This example has a showy spread-winged Eagle, and in an unlisted olive yellow color.  Estimated at $1,000 – 1,500, and with considerable damage, it sold for $2,645. “If undamaged, we believe it would have rivaled lot 59, the marked scroll flask, for top honors in the sale — that’s how rare it is,” Hagenbuch said.

A small but nice grouping of early stoneware did well with lot 238, a pottery jar impressed “S. Amboy, N. Jersey” and, attributed to the Warne & Letts Pottery leading the way. Estimated to sell for between $800 and $1,200, the jar hammered for $4,885.

A group of circa 1790-1840 crocks and jugs from early potteries of New York City and northern New Jersey sold well. “All were consigned by a New Jersey bottle collector who specialized in early New Jersey glass and pottery,” Hagenbuch said. A crock dated “1817”, decorated with a cogglewheel pattern around the mouth and attributed to Morgan Van Wickle of New Jersey, sold for $3,450.

“Most all the early stoneware pieces went back into the collections of New Jersey bottle collectors, whose bidding helped attribute to the higher prices,” exclaimed Hagenbuch. 

An early New York City, open-eared crock impressed with the words “Commeraw.s Stoneware / Corlears Hook, N.Y.” and decorated with an incised drape style pattern was estimated to sell for between $1,500 and $2,500. Even a sizable repair to the lip and shoulder crack did not deter the bidding, as it closed at $3,160.

For more information visit Glass Works Auctions.

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